Overwintering Pond Plants

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants' started by AngelaM, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. AngelaM

    AngelaM

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Michigan
    I am in Michigan where it drops below zero degrees through winter. I have a few pond plants I’d like to bring inside and try to save for next year. It’s not that they’re expensive to repurchase but they are incredibly hard to find around here! I like to have 1/3 of my pond covered in plants and trying to locate them has proven to be a big pain. I currently have some water lettuce, water hyacinth, and rain lily plants that will not survive winter. Any helpful tips on how to keep them inside for a few months! Thanks!
     
    AngelaM, Sep 24, 2018
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. AngelaM

    Stephen Noble

    Joined:
    May 21, 2018
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    231
    Hi Angela, I have successfully overwintered pond plants for the same reasons you state.
    There are two surefire ways to keep water hyacinth. One is for just maintaining what you have the other is for propagation. Both use a ten-gallon aquarium or clear container.
    Maintenance: south or west window location, warm water (about 80 F constant...not cold at night) supplemental lighting during short photoperiod of December - February. Misting twice daily is important. The plants will typically get smaller which is no problem but watch for signs of decay like yellow or gooey leaves. In that case, you might need to add a small amount of aquarium plant fertilizer or increase light intensity.
    Propagation: same conditions as above but add a three inch layer of fresh potting soil to the tank and keep the water level so that the plants roots extend to the soil. You will need intense lighting and supplemental fertilizer. I put a diluted solution of plant fertilizer in a spray bottle and mist the plants. They really like that.
    Water lettuce can be kept going by floating it in an extremely brightly illuminated aquarium. I use a block of styrofoam the width of the tank to keep the water lettuce directly under the light. The filter current will otherwise push the plant into a dimly lit corner. First, cut a hole in the middle of the styrofoam and wedge it between the tank’s sides. Drop the water lettuce in the hole. Mist the plant twice daily.
    The most important part of overwintering your floating plants is careful reintroduction into the pond. This is where most failures occur. The plants don’t like cold water so make sure your pond water is warm. I recommend 70 F. And most importantly, slowly acclimate them to the sunshine. Introduction to bright sunlight without a gentle acclimation will kill them for certain. Sorry for the long answer (that’s what you get from a retired columnist :) ) but the above works. Good luck.
    Stephen
     
    Stephen Noble, Sep 24, 2018
    #2
    Mmathis, AngelaM, Tula and 1 other person like this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. AngelaM

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,935
    Likes Received:
    7,787
    Location:
    Northern IL
    Great answer @Stephen Noble!

    @AngelaM - I think the two most important parts of the equation are light and heat. Water lettuce and water hyacinth do best when the water is warm in the long, hot, sunny days. If you can replicate that, you'll be successful.

    Both of these plants are slowly being banned for sale in the midwest - have they been banned in Michigan?
     
    Lisak1, Sep 24, 2018
    #3
    AngelaM likes this.
  4. AngelaM

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    31,320
    Likes Received:
    14,351
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    I use a stock tank and a fish tank and a aerator from walmart and a grow light bulb and been doing this for over 8 years now and even last year the reseeded onto my lily plant root ball . 100_4521.JPG 100_4520.JPG
     
    sissy, Sep 24, 2018
    #4
    AngelaM and Tula like this.
  5. AngelaM

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    9,785
    Likes Received:
    5,587
    Location:
    NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
    As @Lisak1 brought up, these plants are illegal for sale in many areas, in Louisiana and most of the Southern, coastal states for example, and for that reason alone it would be nice to be able to overwinter them. But I have read where lots and lots of people have tried but failed — many more failures than successes. There is absolutely no reason why you couldn’t try it, though. Of the success stories, those people usually had a “greenhouse” type set up, usually in a basement (I’m jealous as we don’t have those in LA). I think air temperature and humidity are equal factors along with water temp. and lighting. I didn’t keep WH this year, but when I have, I’ve noticed a decline starting around this time of year. My guess is that’s due to lighting.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
    Mmathis, Sep 24, 2018
    #5
    AngelaM likes this.
  6. AngelaM

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    31,320
    Likes Received:
    14,351
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    if there is air stone in the water and light they can survive .I freshen my water by siphoning some out and putting in new and the grow LED bulbs are great compared to the old bulbs
     
    sissy, Sep 24, 2018
    #6
    AngelaM likes this.
  7. AngelaM

    AngelaM

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Michigan

    Do you use the long shop lights or the big round ones?
     
    AngelaM, Sep 28, 2018
    #7
  8. AngelaM

    AngelaM

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Michigan

    No they’re not banned in Michigan. I purchased both from greenhouses but they were over two hours away from me. I just don’t want to have to drive two hours next year for pond plants.
     
    AngelaM, Sep 28, 2018
    #8
  9. AngelaM

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,935
    Likes Received:
    7,787
    Location:
    Northern IL
    Gotcha! They sell them everywhere near me - even nurseries that don't supply pond plants have them in their little fountain displays. But you can't buy them in WI or, soon I hear, in Chicago. We will see! It's silly because there's literally no chance they could survive and move into natural waterways here.
     
    Lisak1, Sep 29, 2018
    #9
    AngelaM and Mmathis like this.
  10. AngelaM

    AngelaM

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Michigan
    Yes that’s very odd! I wonder what the reasoning is.
     
    AngelaM, Sep 29, 2018
    #10
  11. AngelaM

    mrsclem mrsclem

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,571
    Likes Received:
    2,269
    Location:
    st. mary's county, md.
    I just got my 29 gallon aquarium cleaned out from raising monarch butterflies so it will now be used to try to over winter my 2 tropical night blooming lilies. Its directly in front of a west facing window but that room stays fairly cool so hoping they will be somewhat dormant and not try to escape the tank.
     
    mrsclem, Sep 29, 2018
    #11
    Mmathis likes this.
  12. AngelaM

    MicHome

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    I too live in Michigan and have installed a pond in my basement with lights to remove plants and overwinter in our cold climate. The water hyacinths made it through 2 winters in my 55 degree basement under LED growlights!!! Here’s a picture of my setup
     

    Attached Files:

    MicHome, Oct 22, 2018
    #12
    Mmathis likes this.
  13. AngelaM

    MicHome

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    8F95303C-9E1C-4354-B6DC-355E24619F3F.jpeg
    Here’s a pic with the lights out because the other one is hard to make out anything!!
     
    MicHome, Oct 22, 2018
    #13
    addy1 and Mmathis like this.
  14. AngelaM

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,935
    Likes Received:
    7,787
    Location:
    Northern IL
    Lisak1, Oct 22, 2018
    #14
  15. AngelaM

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    9,785
    Likes Received:
    5,587
    Location:
    NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
    Ah, so that helps to answer the question: is their growth and survival more related to temperature or lighting!
     
    Mmathis, Oct 22, 2018
    #15
    AngelaM and Lisak1 like this.
  16. AngelaM

    AngelaM

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Michigan
    Do you heat the water or use an air stone?
     
    AngelaM, Oct 23, 2018
    #16
  17. AngelaM

    MicHome

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    I don’t heat the water. The basement stays around 55 degrees all winter. There is aluminum foil all around the indoor pond to reflect the light around. I do have a small fountain pump that just pushes the water up into the air to get more oxygen in the water & keep it fresh. I am amazed how fast it evaporates
     
    MicHome, Oct 25, 2018
    #17
  18. AngelaM

    MicHome

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    My lighting is seven 17 watt led lights that you can see in the picture I got them from Amazon will post a pic of the ones I bought
     
    MicHome, Oct 25, 2018
    #18
  19. AngelaM

    MicHome

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    73210CC1-5CF5-443E-B520-19C8E4B1CD63.png
    Oops. It’s 12 watts and unfortunately currently unavailable but possibly could be purchased elsewhere
     
    MicHome, Oct 25, 2018
    #19
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.